We’ll have an in-depth scouting report on the Jets’ day two pick, Nathan Shepherd, in due course, but - for now - here are some quick thoughts.
Shepherd was a player we identified as someone that could interest the Jets in some of our post-combine analysis. However, his rise to day two pick status began a few months before that.
At the Senior Bowl, Shepherd made an immediate impression at the weigh-in by showing up in great shape, causing analysts to praise his NFL body. Then, in drills, he showcased power and technique with some experts describing him as unstoppable.
Importantly, he proved a handful for Will Hernandez, who many considered as a first round talent, ultimately selected with the second pick of round two. This helps alleviate some level of competition concerns for Shepherd, who played in division two, which hopefully means he’ll be able to produce at the NFL level sooner than expected.
Shepherd’s Senior Bowl campaign ended prematurely due to a broken hand, but he was healthy in time to put up good numbers at the combine while tipping the scales at 315 pounds with a good wingspan.
That was the same as Muhammad Wilkerson’s listed weight and Wilkerson’s role is perhaps where Shepherd is most likely to be used. Although he’s an older prospect at 24 and described as raw by some draft experts the technique he displayed during Senior Bowl week hopefully gives him a shot to contribute early. The Jets have already said that they expect him to be in the rotation.
We’re looking forward to whatever revelations a more detailed review of his film produce. It’s always a challenge to project lower level prospects, but you can draw conclusions from how dominant they are, often in the face of double teams and that likely formed the basis of why the Jets took him where they did.